Dear G8,

G8 leaders plan to launch a “New Alliance to increase Food and Nutrition Security” at the G8 Summit May 18-19 at Camp David in the United States. We are concerned that this initiative, as proposed, offers a silver bullet to divert attention from the G8’s failure to deliver on previous commitments, rather than a continued effort to fight hunger.

Three years ago, at the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, President Obama rallied the leaders of the world’s richest countries to make a promise: if poor countries came up with good plans to help farmers living in poverty grow more and earn more, rich countries would help make it happen. The initiative included a $22 billion financial pledge over three years to be invested in country-owned plans.

We, women smallholder farmers, youth, landless agricultural workers and pastoralists who are the backbone of African agriculture are doing our part; G8 leaders need to do theirs at this year’s summit. Since L’Aquila, our countries have created long-term country investment plans for agriculture. Too many of these country plans are still awaiting the share from donors, nearly three years after the G8 promised to their share. The L’Aquila Food Security Initiative ends in December, but as of last year, the G8 had met only between a fifth and a half of their L’Aquila commitments.

We are concerned that the G8’s proposed New Alliance is neither new nor an alliance. Donors have been taking steps to enable private sector investment in agriculture for decades, yet there are still a billion hungry people in the world.  If the private sector is to play a productive role, there needs to be strong evidence that these kinds of partnerships can actually deliver for small-scale producers.

For the initiative to truly be an alliance, women small-scale producers, youth, and pastoralists should have been consulted in the drafting of the plan. Instead, G8 leaders are merely asking African governments for a rubber stamp. Donors increasingly claim to target the small-scale producers who make up the majority of the world’s poor, but they are rarely consulted, and these resources seldom actually reach them.

To demonstrate their commitment to the Rome Principles, G8 leaders need to stop launching new initiatives and focus on improving donor coordination for aid effectiveness through alignment and harmonization as agreed in Rome, Paris, Accra, and most recently Busan. The basis for any agriculture initiative in Africa must be the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the Framework and Guideline on Land Policy (F&G), and the African Union Pastoralist Initiative.

If G8 leaders are serious about fighting hunger and the promises they made in L’Aquila and Rome, they must commit to a modest scale-up of food and nutrition security investments from $7 to $10 billion a year in the final 3 years before the Millennium Development Goals expire. The G8 must:

  • prioritize support for investments in agriculture and food security that benefit women small-scale farmers;
  • support the adaptation of agriculture to climate change, utilize sustainable approaches;
  • integrate linkages to nutrition outcomes;
  • and address the special vulnerabilities of pastoralists.

This is only way to help 50 million people lift themselves out of poverty through sustainable smallholder agriculture, and help 15 million children get the nutrients they need to avoid stunting.  Anything short of this would signal that G8 leaders are turning their back on the legacy and promises of L’Aquila.

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122 responses to “Dear G8,

  1. Countries develop when their leaders, pushed by citizens, decide to make investments in infrastructure, policies and regulations that open space for citizens to plan for and work toward their own betterment and that of their children and locales. With out that as a starting point, the rest is an exercise in futility. Nice to have G8 money but the above is far more important for food security.

  2. Goddfrey Frederk


  3. Achieving agriculture revolution is definitely a way out of misery, strive and hunger. every nation has a part to play. I believe developing countries have their commitments to meet this and we the citizens would ensure this happens. Do you part G8 !! no rhetoric, lets see the action

  4. Benjamin Dotto

    Africa is a big looser always,i wish the alliance for G8 benefits not for africa at all.How long will it take africa to liberate itself from mental slave of accepting every form of Neo colonialism as an Aid to continent.Oops!! We need strong leadership and Good governance by the way.

    • Dotto,

      It should be noted that many Westerners who subscribe to a positive view of the traditional West are also very critical of neoliberalism and globalization as both commonly describes a market-driven approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that stresses the efficiency of private enterprise and therefore seeks to maximize the role of the private sector [the biggest capital] in determining the political and economic priorities of the state and here is where the right of participation of the downtrodden majority is transgressed until such time that the few with insights and aching hearts rise up and ignite the fire for purging up the system.

  5. This call is about ensuring food security for the millions of children, women and men who are threatened by hunger. G8 must leadership and commitment to all the promises

  6. Elisa Muhingo

    President J M kikwete.
    Dont agree with the suggestion to invite investers in Agriculture. Promote intensive and extensive farming of our Tanzanian only sitisen we will overcome the food shortage. If you agree oneday you will go in history of being a bad lider who sold the nation that was liberated bloodlessly. This time will be bloody to expell thos so called investers

  7. This time it is for Africa to grow and develop. I want one of G8′s Top Agenda to be Africa. I wish you success.

  8. I think its time for African leaders especialy Tanzania to wake up, You have to understand that Developed countries never helped us, n they will never help us….what ever they give to us it’s profit from our resources.
    this is the time for action! It is also upto to us to organise and mobilise such a massive presence that it will become politically suicidal to keep ignoring us.
    they started to explore our minerals now they want the remain land to invest. if we are not clever we will go back to the era of colonialism in capitalism phere…

    we have to note that: we are rich, they need us and not us need them because we have everything.

  9. Samwel Nangiria

    I completely go along with the initiative!


  11. our natural resouces are for coming generation

  12. Our windows and door haves been wide open since the neo liberal predators wedded our so called national heroes of African development amid their own (African) people’s protest. if we keep the doors and windows wide open still, more predators, scorpions, flies and mosquitoes will flock into our African house. A big no to such alliances that have never helped us in the past. Home grown initiatives will do much better taking into account the interests of the peasantry farming that has always fed our nations with nutrional values.

    my president Jakaya Kikwete attend but don’t sign it

  14. Martha Jerome

    Oooh yes! G 8 stop playing games on our material poverty. We know what we want and what is best for Africa. Fulfil your promise!

  15. Stanley Kato Kachecheba
    No more plan!! Tanzanians need good governance, openess and accountability.

  16. Scholastica Haule

    I second the open letter to the G8 from African Civil Society. It is time to stick to Africa’s Plans

  17. It is time for you to stick to your promise, the initiative should focus on smallholder farmers, especially women.

  18. Shija Msikula

    I support the motion

  19. I fully support this letter!

  20. Esther Kalonga

    It is time for African Leaders to strongly stand for the people who entrusted them with power by standing on their side to ensure that the G8 countries adhere to the former commitment. DON’T LET US DOWN BY INSITING THE UNFULLFILLED PROMISES TO BE FULLFILLED

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